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Chalkfly leverages SLI search on responsive site

BY Dan Berthiaume

Detroit – Office and school supply e-commerce retailer Chalkfly has launched a redesigned, fully responsive website that leverages SLI Systems search technology. Chalkfly’s use of SLI’s intuitive site search functionality enables customers to quickly and easily find and purchase items amid more than 60,000 products in office and school supply categories.

In preparation for the revamped site, and to address the unique back-to-school product needs for parents and students, Chalkfly used historical data and worked with local PTOs to learn which supplies are key for each grade. With this information, the “searchandising” team curated categories and Back to School kits organized by grade, providing refined options for shoppers. The kits make shopping easier and increase purchases by marketing additional in-demand Back-to-School products to users.

“Given our broad selection of products and the looming presence of some pretty hefty competitors, we knew search would provide us with a critical edge, and SLI has a great solution,” said Lissa Cupp, CMO Chalkfly. “Since implementing SLI, our conversion rates, for customers who performed a search have increased 30% and the average order values overall have increased by 33%. On top of upping the search ante with SLI, we’ve gained some tips on simplifying the search process for customers, especially during back-to-school season.”

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Omnichannel aids Brown Shoe BTS efforts

BY CSA STAFF

Famous Footwear parent company Brown Shoe said it believes stepped up omnichannel efforts will drive sales this back-to-school season sales after reporting better than expected second quarter results.

The operator of more than 1,200 Famous Footwear and Naturalizer stores said sales increased 2.3% to $636 million with same store sales at Famous Footwear brand stores up 1.6%. The company also operates 14 branded ecommerce sites and is known for brands such as Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl’s, LifeStride, Ryka, Sam Edelman, Franco Sarto, Vince, Via Spiga, Fergie Footwear and Carlos Santana.

“Our second quarter results reflect the health of both our retail and wholesale businesses, as we continue to benefit from, and expand on, our portfolio realignment efforts,” said Diane Sullivan, CEO, president and chairman of Brown Shoe Company. “At Famous Footwear, our focus on delivering a seamless omnichannel experience to our consumers helped kick off our back-to-school selling season. At our wholesale brands, our trend-right merchandise is resonating with both consumers and retailers.”

Second quarter profits increased 17.6% to $18.1 million, or 41 cents a share, compared to prior year profits of $15.4 million, or 35 cents a share. That was good enough to cause the company to raise its full year forecast.

“Despite a continued, industry-wide decline in traffic patterns and an overall tough retail environment, we were able to deliver against expectations in the second quarter,” said Russ Hammer, Brown Shoe’s CFO. “To account for our better-than-expected second quarter performance, we are raising our annual guidance range to $1.50 to $1.60.”

The company expects its Famous Footwear stores to produce same store sales growth in the low single digits this year.

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GDecide creates social network for Millennial decisions

BY Dan Berthiaume

Montreal – GDecide has created a free private social network for decision making, aimed at Millennial consumers. The network offers a platform that collates and tallies responses to questions and only distributes questions to the select circle of network connections users wishes to poll, protecting the privacy of its users.

GDecide users can create a question and share it in less than 10 seconds, with the ability to send photos and videos to select friends, colleagues and family members for any decision needing immediate feedback. The platform provides a space for private discussion, as well as a tally for yes/no and multiple-choice questions and succinctly shows the user the feedback in an organized fashion. The decision maker can then end the discussion and let all of those participating know the final verdict, should they choose.

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